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Kukur Tihar, Laxmi Puja being observed today amid COVID-19 pandemic

KATHMANDU: Kukur Tihar and Laxmi Puja are being observed today, the second day of Tihar festival this year, by worshipping, garlanding and feeding dogs and cows.

In Kukur Tihar, dogs are worshipped as protectors of the house. A dog is the most loyal friend to human beings, and according to Hindu myth, dogs are regarded as the guards of Yama, the god of death.

This year, Kukur Tihar and Laxmi Puja are being celebrated on the same day (Kartik Krishna Chaturdashi on the lunar calendar), according to Nepal Panchanga Nirnayan Samiti.

Similarly, Nepali Hindus worship cows in the morning and Goddess Laxmi in the evening, wishing for prosperity on this day.

People celebrate Laxmi Puja in every household today by lighting butter lamps and candles inside and outside the households to welcome the Goddess by lighting up the path.

All the nooks and corners of the house including the courtyard and rooms are illuminated with colourful and decorative lights this evening with the belief that Goddess Laxmi does not visit places that are not properly illuminated, and to please Goddess Laxmi, people light lamps and spend the whole night in a vigil.

The night of Laxmi Puja is also known as ‘the Night of Bliss’.

People also play deusi-bhailo following the puja. However, this year the administration offices have banned Deusi-Bhailo revelries and other Tihar-related programmes. The authorities have requested people to keep the possible spread of the virus in mind while celebrating the festival. The offices have urged locals to stay safe while celebrating the festival.

In addition, Nepal Police headquarters has directed all police units to prohibit Deusi-Bhailo programmes in their respective areas during the Tihar festival citing the spike in COVID-19 cases throughout the country.

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